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Southern Rock pioneer Hall to play Mars

POSTED: August 7, 2014 3:28 p.m.

Former Wet Willie frontman Jimmy Hall will perform at the Mars Theatre on Sept. 27.

An artist with a long and varied background as a performer, Hall has shared the studio and stages around the world with The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jeff Beck Group, Grand Funk Railroad and a host of others.

Hall moved to Macon from his hometown of Mobile, Ala., when he was 20 years old with his newly-formed band, Wet Willie, and worked with Capricorn Records from its early days in the 1970s. During that time Wet Willie gained the reputation as one of the hardest-working bands on the road, with Gregg Allman saying that Hall “is the hardest man to follow on stage that I ever worked with.”

As Wet Willie helped to create the Southern Rock genre, they scored a major radio success with the record “Keep on Smiling”, which solidified their place in rock and roll history. Hall has gone on to record many other records both with Wet Willie and as a solo artist, and has worked with many others in the studio and live, including Dickey Betts, Chuck Leavell (Allman Brothers Band, Rolling Stones) and Butch Trucks (Allman Brothers Band) in the group BHLT (Betts, Hall, Leavell and Trucks).

It was for, however, his featured vocals in 1986 on the critically acclaimed Jeff Beck album, “Flash,” that Hall received his greatest accolade: a Grammy nomination for Best Male Rock Vocalist.

“If you are asking who I think is the best Southern Rock singer — hands down, Jimmy Hall, no question,” said John Bell of Widespread Panic.

In 1981, Hall moved to Nashville to raise his family, hugely influencing his three sons as they grew into their own remarkable musical talents. During this time Hall worked as a bandleader, vocalist, saxophonist and harmonica player for Hank Williams Jr., and also formed the Prisoners of Love with top Nashville musicians, recording the outstanding “Rendezvous” CD. Gregg Allman later recorded one of the album’s tunes, the Hall-penned “Rendezvous with the Blues”.

Hall’s latest endeavors include touring with Jeff Beck in Brazil and with both Jeff Beck and ZZ Top in the U.S., performing with the Muscle Shoals All-star Band in Italy and select U.S. cities, and the “Triple Trouble” album with Lloyd Jones, Tommy Castro and backed by Stevie Ray Vaughan’s band Double Trouble. He has also compiled a soul-stirring CD called “The Mighty Jeremiahs,” featuring Greg Martin from the Kentucky Headhunters.

His newest solo project is a tribute to the great singer and songwriter Eddie Hinton called “Build Your Own Fire,” which features legendary Muscle Shoals musicians and guest vocalist Delbert McClinton.

Hall has numerous television performances under his belt including “American Bandstand,” “Solid Gold” and recent CMT specials such as “Crossroads” (with Hank Williams Jr. and Kid Rock), “CMA Music Fest” and “Summer Fest” (with Hank Williams Jr.) and “The Jeff Foxworthy Show.”

He also has appeared in numerous interviews on “CMT Greatest Moments: Hank Williams Jr.” and was featured on backing vocals, harmonica and sax in the first televised Outlaws concert. Hall performed with an all-star cast of musicians at the “All My Friends” Gregg Allman Tribute Concert at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre in January for a live DVD.

“For my money, Jimmy is the best white R&B singer alive,” said Steve Cropper.

For more information about the show, visit marstheatre.com. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. on Sept. 27, with the show starting at 8 p.m.

About the Mars Theatre
The Mars Theatre is a community supported entertainment hub, offering a variety of events for adults and families throughout the Coastal region. A historic landmark-turned-high-tech venue, the Mars boasts a unique blend of music, film, and performing arts.

Originally founded in 1945, the Mars Theatre reopened in 2014, with support from the city of Springfield and the Springfield Revitalization Corporation, after 57 years of disuse.

Visit www.marstheatre.com for more information.

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